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All In A Moment...
By Salam "DÛke" AL.H
Each of us have some kind of a sacred “symbol” that we keep close to our hearts at most times; be it a precious picture of ourselves, our friends, or family…or it could be some “thing,” a gift of some sort…something unforgettable.

A picture, perhaps, holds the most memories, after all, a picture does say more than thousands of words. To me, a picture is a still life of a moment of some sort, whether it’s a precious moment, or just an everyday, casual moment; however, a picture does hold that moment…forever. Times will pass by, we will change, we will grow into and out of some habits, but still, there will always be that one picture that is that one moment when we were at some point of our life.

A picture is so silent, yet so loud. Look at a picture of yourself, all you’ll see is a moment. That one, simple moment, though speaks for itself…instantly, you might recall where, how, and why you’ve taken that picture. Give it a thought, and it might even bring back some ancient memories…some memories that somehow are associated with that picture. You’ll sometimes find yourself laughing at that picture, just because you recalled that one “funny” moment right before or after that picture was taken. You could even realize your eyes tearing up at the sight of that picture, due to the memory of an incident that occurred sometime around that moment.

To you, a picture of yourself is most likely more than just a picture - it’s a portal to that moment…to that one place, to that one feeling, to that incident It’s a road back in time.

All that and more is seen and felt in a picture.

But…

What we have here is more than just a picture…it’s a whole archive of ourselves.

It’s the very, simple message boards.

Especially those of the CPA.

Lets face it, most of us visit the Casual Players Alliance on a daily basis, and most of us are engaged in what we call the Community Forums: the CPA’s own message board.

We talk about everything. We talk about Magic in general: the new sets, the new decks, the new cards…our favorite colors, cards…and so on. We also talk about life itself. We talk about other issues. We talk about politics. We talk about music. [laughs] We even happen to discuss very important worldly issues at times.

Incredibly, we know members of the CPA almost as well as we know some of our real-life friends; we chat with each other, we argue, some of us even [grins]“love” for God’s sake! In a sense, we are living this “world,” and clearly, the CPA has become like this wild little neighborhood that everyone is proud to call “home”.

You know, to me, it seems endless. When will the CPA “retire?” If it is a world of its own, then “retirement” is not an option, but evolution is what’s ahead. I could see the CPA still up and running in ten years. Ten years! Unbelievable.

Those times are passing, and we may not realize it, but we are growing up with this CPA. Already, I look back at some of our old posts, when we were “young” in the CPA, and I see the child in us. Already, there’s a sense of “growing up”.

Remember that one precious picture of yours? To you, it held a moment without the words…it spoke the powerful, silent language – yet it invoked euphoria, and sometimes even the watery eyes.

Well, the CPA, and message boards in general, are more than just pictures. Go back, and read some of your very old posts in that one message board. What do you see? You. That’s right, you’ve grown with the rest of that society, with the rest of that “world” Perhaps you recall that moment now, when you were smiling as you read that one wacky post? Do you see that one little argument you were having? Do you see your words, or that one deck you built a year ago? They’re all yours. They’re all you. Back in time, back when you were “young” in that world. They’re all your “moments”, and you’ve been nice enough to share them with everyone else.

Those who are stable in this CPA are constantly growing up with it. Can you imagine, say in four years, reading all these “moments” of yours, and those of others? It feels like flipping through an ancient, precious tome, where all those “moments” were forever captured in time.

In four years, some of us will be married, some of us will be in college, and some, sadly, will no longer be a part of this world – yet these moments, of the young us, are still captured here. Imagine reading a post you wrote three years ago, when you were, perhaps, still single, still in school. It brings back a lot of memories, doesn’t it? Not only does it bring back these "digital" memories, but also the real-life emotions and problems you had been going through as you wrote that one sentence.

What we have here are the CPA’s message forums. As you can see, they’re more than just something for the current moment. But like a precious picture, it will hold your thoughts, your feelings, your knowledge…all in recognizable words, and little smiley faces that will remind you how you felt at the single moment.

Go back and read that one silly joke a member said that nobody got. You’ll laugh at it Read that one argument that everyone hated You’ll laugh at it Read that one amazing discovery. You’ll grin at it. Go back and read that one moment, and see how it will take you back to that situation, where you have said what you have felt at that second in time.

To me, this archive is sacred. Years from now, when the CPA will be up and running, I will visit the message boards. I’ll read some of the posts we all have made. I guarantee you, I will grin at them…the same way I grin at a precious picture.

You should do that too. It’ll put a smile on your face, and -- maybe -- you’ll even make a sounding laughter: something we all need.

But first, you need to join if you haven’t already. [Laughs]

These archives will forever be a part of our endless memories…enjoy them as you would enjoy that one sacred “symbol.”

-Dûke

Read More Articles by Salam "DÛke" AL.H!

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